This month the Department of Homeland Security has ruled to permit graduates on an F-1 student visa an additional 24 months of optional practical training (OPT) work. This ruling allows for F-1 students graduating with a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) degree a total of 36 months for OPT training.
This program goes into effect on May 10, 2016 and does have some conditions.
Extension conditions include:
- Employers must be enrolled in E-Verify employment eligibility verification program
- Employers must have formal mentoring and training plans
- Employers must verify duties, hours, and compensation for the work are on par U.S. workers
- Employers must attest that there are proper resources and staff available to train the student
- No Lay-offs or furloughs will arise from STEM students training
- The work advances STEM students training or goals.
- Ongoing reporting to the Department of Homeland security
Extension of Cap Gap
Previously, students who have transitioned from their F-1 status over to their H-1B status experienced a gap between their F-1 status and the H-1B visa being approved, which sometimes forced them to leave the country while they awaited H-1B approval. The Cap Gap extension allows students with pending or approved H1-B status to remain in the US until the start date of their approved H1-B employment.
If you are a student needing assistance with an F-1 visa or another immigration matter, a Houston immigration attorney from The Law Office of Tony Parada can assist you today. Attorney Tony E Parada has successfully assisted hundreds of individuals needing legal representation for immigration matters.
Let us help you – Call our office today.